How to Get Started in Welding in Indiana
In Indiana, you’ll find that a welding job can be gratifying and profitable. Welders can find consistent work, as it’s a profession that is always in need of knowledgeable technicians.
A welder is proficient in fusing pieces of metal and metal components at a client’s request. They must be able to lift heavy equipment and understand how to manage hazardous materials. This career is great for someone who has good hand-eye coordination, and those who have outstanding math skills will excel in a welding position. Indiana always has welding job openings, so the demand for skilled welders is high.
The law in Indiana does not require specific certifications to become a welder. Welders can find jobs right out of high school. Many companies even offer apprenticeships. No work experience is required for most positions, as some businesses will provide training.
Welders will need different certifications for each type of welding they plan to pursue, and every employer will have their own requirements regarding the necessary qualifications for entry-level welders. Many students are beginning to see that a shortage of skilled trade-workers has caused demand in the welding industry, thus providing long-term stability for this role.
How to Become a Certified Welder
Depending on what you want to weld, or where you want to work, there are many certificates or degree options available. The classes and certification you must obtain will depend upon the career path you choose. Employers may request that you have a minimum of an undergraduate certificate from the American Welding Society (AWS). This Certified Welding Educator Program is one of the basic requirements for a career in welding in most places. This certificate is intended to prepare students for a career in welding and a skilled foundation to build from.
Schools for Welding
Students will find that only a few community colleges in Indiana offer welding programs or certifications. Those who enroll can either earn an associate’s degree or complete a certificate training program. These schools offer instruction for a range of welding techniques and provide class options that appeal to everyone seeking employment as a welder.
- J Everett Light Career Center, Indianapolis. J Everett has courses for welding that last one to two years. These classes take two or three hours per day. Students in this program must provide their own safety clothing. They will learn how to fuse aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel and solid core wire. The credits acquired at J Everett can be transferred to other schools if students decide to pursue further education in welding.
- Vincennes University, Vincennes. Vincennes University is a four-year school where students can graduate with an associate’s degree in welding. This degree requires 73 credit hours. Students will learn arc welding, drafting and blueprint reading, among other necessary skills. For students who are seeking a certificate only, Vincennes offers a nine-month course in which they must spend 20 hours per week in a laboratory, learning hands-on welding techniques. Students then finish with a welding certificate.
Career Overview and Wage Expectations
The U.S. Department of Labor expects the Indiana welding industry to grow 11 percent by 2026, which is high for the industry nationwide. Jobs for welders will be in demand and are expected to remain steady over at least the next six years.
Salaries are also stable for welders, solderers, cutters and brazers in Indiana. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average annual wage was $39,090 in 2017. The average hourly rate for a welder was $18.79. These salaries are slightly higher compared to Indiana’s surrounding states. Additionally, wages are diverse based on the certifications available to potential welders.
Working as a Welder in Indiana
Being a large city, Indianapolis has the highest concentration of welding jobs available in Indiana. There are, however, many opportunities for welding jobs across the entire state. The range of certifications is so varied in the welding profession that a welders can find work in construction, inspection, maintenance and more.
By becoming certified in basic welding techniques, you’ll find that many employers will assist you in obtaining additional certifications based on the company’s needs. Your first welding credential can be attained in nine months or less.